For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
Date: August 9, 2007
Attorney General Recovers Refunds in Undelivered eBay Toys Case
(Boise) – A Boise man who sold toys on eBay, but did not ship the goods after receiving payment, has paid 17 consumers $1,493.53 in restitution, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed in May 2007 against Blake Freer, who operated a business called Squared Circle Toys.
The Attorney General became aware of Mr. Freer’s business activities when he received four consumer complaints from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) in January 2007. The complaints alleged that Mr. Freer accepted money from consumers for toy wrestling figures but failed to provide the purchased toys or refunds to the consumers. The Attorney General’s Office received similar complaints through March 2007.
To resolve the lawsuit without admitting liability, Mr. Freer agreed to pay restitution to the consumers who filed complaints against him and to pay the Attorney General $1,352.13 for his fees and costs. In addition, Mr. Freer must cooperate with the Attorney General in addressing all future complaints involving Mr. Freer’s business activities.
“Consumers should be cautious when buying on the Internet,” Attorney General Wasden said. “Although Internet shopping has opened up a new world of convenience for many people, the anonymity of these transactions can leave them empty-handed, which is what occurred here.”
The 17 consumers who complained about Mr. Freer lived in the eastern United States and as far away as Sydney, Australia; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Hatfield, England.
Attorney General Wasden has these recommendations for consumers shopping on online auction sites:
The Attorney General’s website contains additional information about Internet safety, as well as other important consumer education issues.
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